Through the first part of this blog series you have heard a lot from Nigel, and with good reason as it is so much his story, but there is also mine.
In some ways fertility has been a part of my daily life for much longer than Nigel. For many women, our lives are shaped by a cycle that is a physical reminder of our potential ability to have children.
When we got married, children were not in the immediate plan at all. I was off to grad school and then I wanted to put that schooling to work. I also got married at 22 and definitely didn’t want kids right away.
I happily went onto birth control and overall had a positive experience and don’t regret the peace of mind it gave me during those years, even knowing now it probably didn’t make a difference.
A few months into 2020 I decided to come off of birth control. We weren’t quite ready to be trying yet (both of us losing our jobs sadly pushed our timeline a bit), but I wanted to understand my body and be prepared when we were ready.
I started tracking my body; taking my basal body temperature each morning and ovulation tests each month while also using barrier methods. Doing this confirmed that I had very regular cycles and as such I was pretty positive that getting pregnant wasn’t going to be an issue.
Throughout all this though I had my emotional moments. Lots of my friends had started to have kids and I definitely found myself breaking down after pregnancy announcements, saddened that we weren’t yet in that stage of life, but still being so happy for them.
I continued to prep; starting to take prenatals and researching lots about pregnancy and then we felt ready. Our conversations had turned more and more to children and the lives we imagined that we would lead. We had both gotten jobs that we loved, and while we loved our life together we did feel like there was something missing.
I don’t think I really expected to get pregnant right away, but that first negative test was a blow. And then they kept coming. Month after month without seeing a second line. I honestly didn’t know that a pregnancy test could look so negative. And yet the world kept turning around us. Pretty much no one knew that we were trying to have a baby so in some way it felt extremely isolating, going to work after crying in the bathroom with another negative test and not feeling like it was something that I could talk about with anyone.
As the months drew on and on, we began to wonder if something was wrong. Some of Nigel’s feelings about this are shared in Part 1 and we decided we needed to start figuring things out. As Nigel had suspicions regarding previous doctor’s visits, we decided to start the testing with him.
When Nigel called me at work the day he got the news, I didn’t really know what to do. No one prepares you for the moment when you find out your husband can’t have biological kids. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I did know that for at least a bit though, my emotions had to come second. While my emotions mattered, I wasn’t the one who had my own health rocked. While my life was changed, it wasn’t my body.
I had a lot to learn about where our new life journey was headed and I will speak more about that in the future; from my fears about my feelings and how I was scared they would hurt Nigel, to my desire to research and know things, to still feeling alone in the world of infertility, but you will just have to wait for those posts.